An update on the update and the progress of the progress

Just occurred to me I’ve been really quiet here, aside from yelling at old men yelling at clouds. Yikes! Sorry ’bout that. I haven’t been quiet anywhere else, of course; it’s just that it’s usually easier for me to microblog on Facebook or Twitter than to macroblog here. Still, some things work better when discussed at length.

So, I’ve been getting lots of questions lately about The Fifth Season, and I have a marketing blurb for you, which my editor and I recently hashed out:


Three terrible things happen in a single day.

Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world’s sole continent, a great red rift has been been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

But this is the Stillness, a land long familiar with struggle, and where orogenes — those who wield the power of the earth as a weapon — are feared far more than the long cold night. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back.

She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

This will appear on jacket copy and in distributor magazines and stuff like that, as I understand it. I’ll publish sample chapters here too, the way I have for all my previous books. That said, these things won’t be appearing for awhile, because the publication date for TFS has recently been pushed back to 2015.

Now, there’s a good reason for this: TFS is the first of a big, complicated trilogy, requiring a ton of research and in many ways taxing my creative abilities to their fullest — it’s the most challenging novel I’ve ever written, craftwise — and these aren’t exactly the kinds of books I can crank out like popcorn. So even though the first book is finished, I don’t think I can spit out the second one in, like, three months, which is what I’d have to do if the second book was to come out a year later! And Orbit (rightly, IMO) tries to arrange for its epic fantasy series to come out on a relatively compact timescale, so they’re pushing back the first book to give me more time to work on the second and third. I don’t think it’s fair to readers to keep them waiting for years and years between segments — except for writers whose last name is Martin and whose readers are obviously cool with that :) — so I’m completely on board with this decision.

And this is complicated by the fact that I’m working on something else in the meantime — a Seekrit Projekt — which is going to keep me off the TFS sequel for a few months. But I think most of you are going to be very happy when you see it.

So, that’s the state of the state. Any questions? (No, I’m not telling you what the Seekrit Projekt is. It’s a secret, good grief.)

15 thoughts on “An update on the update and the progress of the progress”

  1. I am so behind. This is the first I’m even hearing of The Fifth Season, but it sounds great. I still have to read Dreamblood. Killing Moon has been sitting in my queue for awhile now, mostly because I haven’t been reading anything in earnest of late. And because writing. But maybe if I drag it out a little longer, by the time I’m done, TFS will be ready to go. :)

  2. I only just finished Kingdom of Gods last week and don’t plan on picking up Dreamblood until later this year, so I for one am glad Orbit is making us wait a little. What if I had to choose between reading Dreamblood and Fifth Season? Or just ignored everything else and read only your books? You’re awesome but I want to read other stuff, too :)

  3. Pingback: Blurb Released for N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season | Bibliodaze

  4. Aha!

    So that’s why you got to go gallivanting around a volcano in Hawaii!

    My inner 9 year old wants to see the characters jumping around inside the great red rift and avoiding the lava, just like we did on the living room furniture! :)

  5. Hah, well this gives me the chance to (part-re-)read the Inheritance Trilogy before TFS comes out! And a chance to get all excited about a seekrit projekt!

    Thanks for the update!

  6. I’m a little sad about the postponement of TFS, since I already preordered it and everything. But the reason for the postponement is enticing, and maybe will keep us all busy guessing what the secret might be. I’m holding out for a full-length collaboration with Janelle Monae that will involve you touring with her. That would be sufficiently awesome to justify the delay….

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  8. On the one hand I’m sad your next book has been pushed out. On the other hand I know that when it does, I’ll be able to binge on the whole trilogy in quick succession. Bittersweet news. And it gives me extra time to get all my fantasy loving friends to read your other works. In the meantime, I’ll be quietly cheering for you over here, and admiring your writing discipline.

  9. how am i just now finding your books, your blog, and you!

    omg…fangirl crush big time. right now i have graduate english books to read for class, but i’ma fit your titles in somehow, someway…probably on my kindle using the library. this sistah is broke, but willing to support.


  10. Have Fifth Season on my amazon wishlist. Oddly enough, amazon listed it with a publication date of August 5th, 2014 which probably was the original release date? Go figure. Regardless, thanks for the helpful post and best of luck with this!!! Can’t wait. Will be re-reading the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms tonight :).

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